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Getting everyone to contribute is key to great ideas

When it comes to ideation and the generation of great ideas, it is a well known fact that quantity beats quality every day of the week. The biggest problem, however, is that quantity does not come easily to most of us. The fear of saying something wrong or presenting an idea that others will not approve of is always present, and to break free of that ball and chain is essential for any team to excel in what they do.

In an article titled “How to tease out great ideas of every member on your team” Lydia Dishman presents a few tips on how to encourage everyone to participate and how to keep the dominant persons in the groups at bay.

I personally feel strongly for the tactics suggested in the article, but as alwyas it demands a lot of trust from the team members to engage in an excercise like this. Much to often, the damp blanket of old habits is never lifted from the participants, and instead of participation and creativity, all members feel awkward and wants to crawl out of their skins rather than stay another minute. I know, beacuse I’ve been there more than once.

To increase the chances of reaching creative Nirvana, I suggest the following steps are taken before jumping into the excercise itself.

1. Establish buy-in from all participants.
More often than not on these facilitated creative sessions, the purpose of the exercise is not clear to all attendees – and even if it is, it’s not always that everyone agrees that this purpose is worth while spending their precious time on. So, before starting to seat people, make sure everyone present is interested in contributing and let the ones who are […]

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